hey could've at least shuffled them up a bit.
They did, they removed Worf and Troi.
Worf doesn't count. Troi has the most non-appearances anyway. Doesn't mean she wasn't there.
I don't buy the "best of the best" argument, either. If Starfleet lets one captain hog the best officers of the fleet then they deserve to lose. If Riker is so good, he should be in charge of his own ship in the war timeline. Same with Data. And if the war has radically changed the events of the timeline, then the supposed "butterfly effect" should lead all the characters to be dispersed throughout the fleet, not concentrated on the same ship.